Cybersecurity Budget Redux By Courtney Brady CMO ThreatBlockr

It’s that time of year again: budget season. And as organization stakeholders look ahead to 2023, cybersecurity might not be at the top of their budget priorities, despite research showing evidence that cybercriminals can penetrate 93% of company networks.

Getting buy-in from all company leaders is the best way to build a robust cybersecurity strategy, as it ensures that every aspect of the business, from IT to compliance, sales, and more, is designed and functioning in accordance with cybersecurity best practices. This is often easier said than done, since everyone must understand the business value of cybersecurity, a tricky prospect if your company has never experienced a data breach or downtime due to a cybersecurity incident.

In order to help stakeholders understand cybersecurity budgeting, here are some considerations to keep in mind when planning your cybersecurity budget for the next year in Q4, so that your security team can keep the organization running smoothly, while also protecting your employees and customers.

1. Understand The Threat Landscape

Helping your stakeholders gain a better understanding of the threat landscape – and how it could affect the organization specifically – is critical in the budgeting process. Some of the biggest threats in 2022 came in the forms of ransomware and malware, and threat actors are continuously inventing more sustained and sophisticated attacks.

When your stakeholders understand the wider threat landscape, who the threat actors are, and where they are coming from, they will understand that remaining underprotected is no longer an option for their organization.

2. Track the Correct KPIs for Your Audience

There are many cybersecurity metrics that can help measure key performance indicators for cybersecurity and aid in the decision-making process. However, measuring metrics without a plan of how to analyze or use the data will not help stakeholders in their decision-making processes.

The best approach to ensure your KPIs work for your business is to track and present  KPIs that are clear and understandable to every stakeholder. Some great examples include:

  • Level of preparedness
  • Intrusion attempts
  • Security incidents
  • First-party security ratings

3. Calculate Cybersecurity ROI

When proposing a cybersecurity budget with a group that might include less technically knowledgeable stakeholders, one of the easiest ways to ensure their buy-in is to communicate the ROI offered by your proposed plan.

The ROI for cybersecurity, also known as ROSI (return on security investment), can be calculated using a standard formula

ROSI (%) = [ (GI – CI) / CI ] × 100

In this formula:

  • GI = Gain from Investment
  • CI = Cost of Investment

Essentially, your ROSI is determined by taking the gain from your investment, subtracting the cost of your investment, and then multiplying by 100.

The cost of investment (CI) can be calculated by adding up the costs of all security measures you have put in place.

Finding the gain from investment (GI) is a bit more complex, but can still be calculated. It depends on contributing factors that include:

  • Estimated costs of breaches
  • The cost of data theft
  • Anticipated remediation costs
  • The cost of downtime in the event of a malicious cyberattack

A checklist like this one designed for small businesses can help you determine where your money is best spent, and whether anything is missing from your current setup.

If your organization has never experienced a breach or loss event, you may have to do some research to determine what your business could expect to spend during an event like this.

4. Communicate the Business Value of Cybersecurity

When CISOs can clearly present the advantages and business value of cybersecurity to other executives and stakeholders, it’s much easier to earn their buy-in on the proposed cybersecurity budget. While a great deal of cybersecurity terminology is very technical, CISOs and other IT leaders must be able to translate this information to a non-technical audience.

Here are a few tried-and-true reminders when explaining the value of a cybersecurity budget with non-technical stakeholders:

  • Calculate and communicate the ROI. The calculation from above on the return on investment of cybersecurity can be eye-popping, and is easy to understand for any audience.
  • Frame your proposal in non-technical terms. This is often difficult when discussing security, but sometimes going into the nitty gritty of the technologies can cause your audience to lose interest.
  • Explain the indirect benefits of a wise security investment. When systems and teams are allowed to run at their full efficiency, they can flourish. This safety net and lack of downtime can be a huge benefit that stakeholders might not realize.
Don’t Let Your Cybersecurity Budget Fly Under the Radar

If you don’t take an active role in cybersecurity budget planning in Q4, your organization might not be prepared for the next rounds of sophisticated attacks that will come in the next year. And while tools of the past may have worked to prevent an attack in the past, the cybersecurity threats facing businesses in 2023 are more hazardous than ever.

Instead of letting your budget fly under the radar, pursue a more proactive cybersecurity approach by investing in a tool like ThreatBlockr.

The ThreatBlockr network security platform is an additional layer of security for your technology stack. Instead of replacing your current system with expensive upgrades, ThreatBlockr provides sophisticated protection without altering your existing setup.

ThreatBlockr is proud to support The Cyber Guild in their mission to help bring the people in cybersecurity together from all spaces to build a more secure digital world.